As I was growing up, the one thing I wanted to do was make my parents proud of me. I still want them to be proud of me to this day, but as I grew I learned how this was a bit toxic for my wellbeing, as I will discuss below.
Saying the words, I just want to make you proud can seem innocent enough, especially when we’re striving to reach a particular type of success in our lives. But when it is overused and damaging to our lives, our mission to success is now diverted to a person, the one you seek approval from.
It’s not about your self anymore, but more toward the person, you want to seek validation. And this, my friend, can lead you further away from your one true happiness.
If you don’t know whether you’re the type of person that is needing the approval of others, this post will give you x telltale signs of seeking approval behavior that you may need to avoid.
This post is about needing the approval of others
How Does Needing The Approval of Others Seem Wrong?
What are your dreams? Traveling, getting married, going to graduate school, or starting a business? Maybe you just want happiness. This can be a goal you can certainly obtain! Read my post on how to pursue a life of happiness.
So yes, you have these dreams but your why, your reason for doing what you desire to do, may be quite difficult to explain if you’re directing it towards those you’re seeking approval from. Meaning, these goals that you’re seeking may turn into a merry go round of seeking approval of others.
Nothing is wrong with wanting someone to happy or proud of your accomplishment, but when your choices of doing what you desire are derived from the approval of others, it seems as if you have no control over your life. You’re others control your choices for what you want rather yourself.
Trust me, sister, I have been there and it was one of the toughest lessons I had to learn.
Therefore, let’s further discuss how we, because we’ve all done this, show a need for approval from others.
You Take Disagreements To A Personal Level
Unless you’re really sensitive, having someone disagreeing with you, and you taking it personally, could be a telltale sign that you’re seeking approval of others. You want people to agree with you because you “feel” or believe that you’re saying is correct. And if someone challenges that argument and disagrees with you, you’re bound to be disappointed because you didn’t meet their approval.
This could happen in the family, with friends, and even at work. This instance can even happen with people you’ve just met!
Someone Disapproves, You Change Your Position
You’ve grown to accumulate certain values and beliefs about how life should be, whether in your environment or the world. Then, someone shares opposing views. How do you react? Is it by defending your values, mutually coming to an agreement, or softening your values by going along with theirs?
As you can see, if you choose the last bit, then you’re showing signs of seeking approval.
You Have A Hard Time Saying No
I’ve written a post similar to this if you want to check it out. I wrote about why saying No, especially when it benefits your life, is necessary.
Do you always say yes, when you’re under so much pressure to say no? Do you not want to disappoint the person that’s asking your help? If you answered yes to the question, then you probably have found yourself upset, burnt out, and exhausted.
Seeking approval robs you of your identity
You Don’t Stand Up For Yourself
Maybe someone has said wrongful things about you. As a matter of fact, maybe they haven’t said anything wrong per se but just judging your skills, work ethic, or character. How do you respond to those? Do you simply agree and refuse to stand for yourself, or you defend yourself appropriately and respectfully, fully standing strongly?
If you simply agree and refuse to stand up for yourself, you’re reinforcing a lack of confidence in yourself. You’re letting them know that what they’re saying has more weight than you. Plus, not standing up for yourself influencers how others perceive you.
Gossiping Is A Tool
Gossip is surely a no-no (here’s my toddler teacher voice), but if you want to fit in with your workers or with potential friends, you’re working your way to seeking approval. This reminds my high school days when everybody wanted to be someone. But in the end, we build an identity that isn’t fully ours but what we see around our environment.
Sometimes, gossip could also be tales or lies. Instead of being true to who you are, you embellish your life just for people to see how cool you are. So here’s the question: do you love to tell tales, so people view you as more knowledgeable?
You Falsely Agree To Something You Truthfully Disagree
This is the same as one of the section post above. Instead of standing up to your own values and beliefs, you soften your ways and line up their values with yours. Or maybe someone said viewpoint you’re against, but you rightfully agree with them because you want to get on their good side. Even though you ABSOLUTELY disagree with them, seeking their approval is what you seek more than your own identity.
You’re Afraid To Complain
There are numerous reasons why we avoid complaining. But when you’re seeking approval, you avoid complaining altogether. Let’s say you went to the restaurant and ordered a meal. However, the waiter brings you a different meal than what you ordered. Wouldnt you tell them that this is not the meal you ordered? This could be due to your lack of low self-worth.
What you’re doing, whether you realize it or not, is you’re reinforcing the idea that you don’t deserve the best.
You Are A Pretender & Try To Fit In
This is similar to the gossip section of the post above. There are a lot of ways people use this to gain the approval of others. People use it during job interviews, at work, and within the family. If you’re pretending to get ahead, pretending to know something that will eventually lead to being found out.
You Apologize for Multiple Times, For No Reason
People usually say sorry when they’ve done wrong and want the person to forgive them for their wrong. However, if you’re constantly apologizing for something you didn’t do, or even something that wasn’t truly your fault, then seeking their approval is what you seek.
You Constantly Seek Compliments
Everyone wants a compliment. We like it when we’re told that we’ve done a good job on your schoolwork or job task. We even like it when people tell us we look good! But if we’re seeking and looking for approval every day from anyone and everyone, then it does have to do with a lack of self-worth. You thrive in seeking praise from others, even when it is inappropriate (what?!?!?) and when it is not deserved at the proper time.
You Ignore Criticism, Especially Constructive Ones
When someone seeks approval they can’t tolerate any form of criticism especially, constructive ones. This was one I truly struggled with, ever since I was younger. I sought the approval of my educators, my parents, and even my peers.
As you can see, my approval-seeking character arose from when I was younger. In the end, I didn’t feel any better, nor my life got better due to those choices. I especially was bad with the constructive criticism because I hated, and I mean HATED people criticizing me because it judged my skills, my life, and what was capable of. I thought of worst-case scenarios.
Ultimately, what I learned was that I lacked confidence, which was true. Now that I know why seeking approval is wrong, I’m constantly building my confidence and my self-worth daily.
You Aren’t True To Yourself
my story of seeking approval started when I was young. Then it led me to constantly become someone I was not. At school, my family, and environments that I found myself to be in, seeking approval was something that was nonstop. Not only did hide who I truly was on the inside, but I felt apprehensive about what people would think of me if I just showed them who I truly was. Basically, it felt like I was a robot who was given an identity to live by.
But the difference between me and the robot was that I had a choice. But it felt like I didn’t. So, if you aren’t acting true to yourself, then it’s because you’re busy seeking approval of others.
There you go! I hope that this post opened your eyes to certain ways of how you perhaps seek the approval of others. Just know that you’re not alone about this. I truly believe that everyone goes through in one way or another.
If you want to find out the solutions on how to stop seeking approval of others and truly standing up by what you believe in (and also building confidence), subscribe to my blog for the latest posts, and also you can check out my personal growth and lifestyle resource library.
Comment below and let me know if you’ve experienced any of this.
Until Next Time,